Many accuse Silva's group, however, of lighting the fuse by commissioning a landmark 1993 report: "How Schools Shortchange Girls." It triggered waves of teaching seminars and education grants to lift girls' spirits, grades and career goals in traditionally male fields.
By decade's end, the report came under fire for its use of data - overlooking girls' higher grades and college admissions while underreporting the struggles of many boys. The American Association for University Women also did not disclose poll results showing broad agreement among students of both genders who thought girls enjoyed better treatment by teachers.
"What was so bizarre," said Joe Manthey, who now leads school programs for boys in California, "is that it came out right at the time girls had overtaken boys in almost every area.